How to Get Rid of Onion Smell

Depending on the variety, an onion can be sharp, spicy, tangy, pungent, mild or sweet. They are commonly used as a base for curries, or made into a paste and eaten as a main course or as a side dish. Unfortunately, after chopping onions, you may notice that you still have the odor of them on your hands for many hours after. As delicious as onions are, walking around smelling like them is another story.

Onion smell is pervasive and irritating long after the delicious meal is over. It clings to the fingers and nail region with ferocity. It even affects your breath! Indeed, onions have a very potent smell, because onion oil contains 1-propenyl sulfenic acid, which is thought to be the lacrimator in onions. The lacrimator is something that makes your eyes water and gives the onions such a distinct smell.

Bizarrely enough, this stinging, tangy chemical is also the cause for a lot of the great flavor in onions, as well as the satisfying fragrance when you fry the vegetable. You’ll also get sulfenic acids by cutting up garlic, chives and leeks, but they don’t form the same irritating gas, just a strong smell.

Who has the cure? Must fingers smell onion-like after chopping? Must breath smell so strong after eating this malodorous vegetable? This article may have all the answers you’re looking for.

Onion Smell Removal

* Wear gloves. That’ll keep the onion smell off of your hands.

* Peeling the onion and then chilling it in the refrigerator before you slice will minimize the release of gas somewhat, because the change in temperature alters the compounds in the onion. Cooking an onion before you slice it will also work for the same reason. Another easy solution is to cut the onion underwater or run the tap over it as you slice.

* Rub your hands against stainless steel metal (a kitchen sink works well) under cold running water for about a minute; rubbing with a large metal spoon works, too. It is also possible to purchase vegetable-shaped or oval-shaped stainless steel “soaps” that can sit permanently at your kitchen sink. They don’t cost much and they really work. Look in the kitchen supplies section of a local store.

The science behind this phenomenon lies in the theory that the sulfuric odor from the onion would be attracted to and bind with one or more of the metals in stainless steel. Formation of such compounds is what makes stainless steel stainless, after all.

Onions and garlic contain amino acid sulfoxides, which form sulfenic acids, which then form a volatile gas (propanethiol S-oxide), which forms sulfuric acid upon exposure to water. These sulfuric compounds are responsible for onions burning your eyes while cutting them and also for garlic’s characteristic scent.

* If you don’t have steel handy, you can make a paste of baking soda, (bicarbonate of soda) and water and rub it over your hands, then wash off. The odor will disappear with the soda.

* …

How Safe Is Your Cookware Set – Health And Safety Features

With the wide range of pots and pans to choose from, buying one is no simple task. Comparing aesthetics, durability, maintenance as well as value-for-money and your budget, is not enough nowadays. With everyone being very health conscious and more knowledgeable about health matters, modern cooks would like to know what type of materials their cookware is made of and whether it will affect their health. How safe are stainless steel cookware, cast-iron or the non-stick cookware, or even the hard-anodized non-stick cookware? Will the materials leach into the food while cooking and affect our health?

Aluminum is lightweight, a good conductor of heat and is not expensive. However the disadvantage is that, heat as well as acid. will react with the metal and you might find traces of aluminum leached into your food, especially during slow simmering of food. If you possess aluminum pots, then just make sure not to use them to cook highly acidic or salty food, such as tomatoes or sauerkraut, for long periods at a time. Storing cooked food in aluminum pots, especially worn or pitted ones, is also not encouraged as aluminum can still leach into the food. However, according to the United States Department of Health And Human Service, very little aluminum is actually absorbed into your body from aluminum cooking utensils.

Aluminum cookware which has been treated, resulting in a layer of aluminum oxide on its surface, is popularly known as hard-anodized cookware. This type of cookware is durable, non-stick, resistance to scratches, and will not react with food during cooking. It conducts heat well and is even more durable than stainless steel cookware, but it can be expensive.

Copper is a good conductor of heat and can easily adapt to temperature changes. Meals that need precise temperature control, cook best in copper cookware. Copper cookware comes with a thin layer of tin or stainless steel coating on its surface, to prevent copper leaching into the food. Nickel is sometimes used as a coating material and can cause allergic reactions in people sensitive to this metal. Copper taken in large amounts can be dangerous to our health.

The stainless steel lining can last the lifetime of the cookware but the tin lining will need to be renewed regularly, as it can be worn away through prolonged usage and high heat. Acidic food stored for long periods of time in copper cookware, may result in traces of the lining metal leaching into the food. This may cause nausea and diarrhea. Besides being difficult to use due to its heavy weight, they are also costly and need to be polished regularly, not only to maintain its glowing surface, but also to remove toxic verdigris deposits on its surface. Scouring will cause scratches.

Cast iron cookware is best used for slow cooking of food as it cooks slowly and evenly. Maintenance is not easy as it is heavy and rust easily, if not properly and thoroughly dried after using. Iron leaches into food during cooking, …

The Essential Introduction to Restaurant Equipment

They say, there’s no business like show business. I beg to differ. I’d rather say, there’s no business like food business. The food service industry is brimming with excitement and prospect like never before. And a large part of its popularity is due to the availability of a wide range of high quality restaurant equipment.

The world of restaurant equipment has never looked busier or better stocked. There’s a piece of machinery for virtually every kind of purpose. The modern day restaurateur is likely to feel spoiled for choices. Gone are the days of a naive freezer in the kitchen, a cooler beside the bar and the odd pieces of cooking equipment. A modern food service establishment houses many different pieces of equipment, one for every aspect of its operation. It’s one area that definitely calls for a better understanding, because your success depends on it.

Choosing the right restaurant equipment helps save time and effort for everybody involved. It also helps streamline processes and can result in improved efficiency. What all this boils down to is better customer satisfaction and of course, higher sales.

As any serious restaurateur would agree, installing the right restaurant equipment in the establishment is the key to its success. This ‘right’ choice depends on understanding the specific nature of the service that one is in. For example, if you are serving pizzas, you’d be needing specialized pizza making equipment at your disposal. You’d also need freezers to store the dough, an oven to prepare the pizza, a soft drink or soda dispenser for those side-orders and probably a dishwasher too to take care of all those soiled dishes.

Making the right choice, indeed, can sometimes be pretty confusing. When you take upon yourself the task of selecting restaurant equipment, you need to choose from a wide range of cooking equipment, cooking supplies, char broilers, convection ovens, gas fryers, freezers and coolers, ware-washing equipment, griddles, ranges and so much more. Take your time and choose wisely. Remember, the success of your business depends on it as much as it does on how your food tastes or how pretty your waitresses look.

Another word of advice for all those planning to buy restaurant equipment. The average restaurant-owner is not likely to know about all the available options or what the best equipment for his or her business is. So a little professional guidance is always helpful. When you buy from a reputed dealer, you stand a better chance of getting genuine assistance in helping you make the right choice. It sure beats buying from somebody who’s only interested in making a sale rather than trying to understand you needs first.…

Planning a Halloween Party That Elementary School Kids Will Love

Every family celebrates Halloween differently. Some parents are too busy to prepare a grand party and simply carve out a pumpkin face, put a candle inside and position the scary pumpkin in a window facing the street. However, if your child is attending a school Halloween party and you’re going to participate, you have to think of more Halloween ideas to contribute. Here are some suggestions:

“Scary Face” Painting

If you have a week or so before the party, you can learn the basics of face painting and use your skills to make Halloween more fun and memorable to the kids attending your Halloween party.

If you’re not the artistic type, you can hire two face painting artists for the day and put up a stall in the venue for face painting. Some kids will be lacking in the costume department, and face art will make up for what they lack. Divide the kids into two and line them up to have their face painted. Let the kids choose the designs by giving out flyers with a list of the images they can ask the artist to paint.

Create Your Painted Pumpkin Family

You can use paper mache pumpkins or real ones for pumpkin painting. The objective is to give younger kids something to do with Halloween pumpkins without exposing them to sharp edges, knives and the other dangers associated with jack-o-lantern carving.

If you’re ordering pumpkins, ask the supplier to pick out large, medium and small sized pumpkins to represent each member of the child’s family.

For school events, however, the kids can have one pumpkin to paint and bring home after the party. Prepare supplies like glues, acrylic paints, permanent markers, colored paper, old newspapers, eye-drawing cut outs, ribbons, colorful stickers and party hats. Let the kids paint funny faces on their pumpkins and decorate them using the supplies you provided.

Freeze Dancing

One of the best activities that a group of elementary kids can participate in at a Halloween party is Freeze Dancing. Choose a lively Halloween CD and let the kids dance for a while before stopping the music. Each child has to “freeze” when the music stops. You can designate two or three teachers or parents to supervise the game and eliminate kids who move even a little while the music is not playing. The last child standing is declared the winner.

Snacks

You can turn any snack (cookies, rice pudding and ice cream) into a creepy, crawly Halloween treat just by using green or orange food coloring and serving with candy corns.…

How to Clean Your Commercial Fridge Units

Commercial Refrigeration Units make up an integral part of any food and beverage establishments. Being the main storage equipment that they are, without these refrigeration items any food and drink business would end up spending more by buying ingredients on a daily basis, or worse, per hour basis.

This is why each commercial refrigeration unit must be properly maintained and taken care of. One way of maintaining your commercial fridge is by cleaning it. Keeping your commercial fridge clean will not just prolong its life, but it will also promote health and food safety for your customers, the ones who actually keep your business alive.

Danger of Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew are those annoying fungi, microscopic organisms that live and multiply in moist places, in this case the deep-seated corners of your commercial fridge. Keep in mind that what you are keeping in these fridges are food and beverage – something people ingest. Therefore, to cut the story short, storing food in a fungi-infested fridge will pose a dangerous threat to both your business and to the health of your customers. Get rid of those mold and mildew, or better yet, prevent it from building up.

Here are the steps on how to clean your Commercial Refrigeration Units:

Commercial Fridge Cleaning Step 1: Clear out its contents.

When clearing out the contents of your commercial Refrigerator, you need to inspect each food and drink items carefully, and check if any of them has gone bad. If there’s any, then you need to throw them out right aware. If you have another fridge, you can store perishable items there first while cleaning the other one.

Commercial Fridge Cleaning Step 2: Use a mold and mildew remover, or just make your own.

It’s easy, really. Just prepare a spray bottle, white wine vinegar, and warm water. Simply mix 1 cup of white wine vinegar to 2 cups of warm water, then shake it in a spray bottle. Just spray the mixture on the mold and mildew then leave for a few minutes.

Commercial Fridge Cleaning Step 3: Clean your commercial chiller completely.

Afterwards, thoroughly rinse away the mold and mildew as well as the vinegar mixture and the whole fridge interior using a non-abrasive wash cloth or a sponge. Use the same dry materials to dry the cleaned commercial chiller,. Then put back all food and drink items as previously stored.

Commercial Fridge Cleaning Step 4: Keep those mold and mildew from building up.

Now, it’s time to do the regular cleaning and maintenance of your commercial refrigeration items by doing the vinegar mixture cleansing at least once a month, then monitoring the quality of your food and beverage items. Throw them away once spoiled.…

What Is a Bratt Pan?

A Bratt Pan is very versatile piece of kitchen equipment that can be commonly used for eight different methods of cooking, although some have limited functionality. These methods of cooking are: Steaming, Poaching, Deep-fat frying, Stewing, Boiling, Braising, Roasting and Shallow frying. Some versions have limited functionality.

Bratt pans have deep rectangular cooking pots and pull down lids and can be heated by either gas or electricity. They are most useful for multi method cooking of one particular dish or food substance such as browning cubed steak with the lid open and on a high temperature setting, followed by then closing the lid, adding liquid and turning the heat down to then braise the browned meat. This method could also be used for creating soups and stocks.

Bratt pans get their names from the German word ‘brat’ which means ‘fry’, although in Germany they are actually called ‘Kippentopf’ which means ’tilting pan’. This name relates to the tilting feature that Bratt pans have than can either be electric or manual.

The tilting feature is used for both cooking and cleaning. When cooking, the lid of the pan can be closed and the pan tilted, enabling liquid and other food stuffs to be poured into the pan through a v-cut opening, ensuring that there is little risk of being burnt or scalded.

When cleaning the tilt mechanism can be used to aid rinsing by swirling water around the pan. Some pans even come with the added function of being able to be connected to the mains water supply so that water can be directly piped to the pan for cleaning or cooking.

There is also a version of pressurised Bratt pan that works much the same as typical pressure cookers. Because the lid can be clamped so tightly, water temperatures above 100 degrees Celsius can be reached and so cooking times are reduced.

Bratt pans are typically used for producing large volumes of food and so are almost always present in large hotels, restaurants, hospitals and universities. They are rarely if ever used for domestic purposes as their size and nature of use do not lend themselves to home cooking.

Because these items are essentially industrial or commercial equipment they are designed to last for some years. They do still however require continual maintenance and especially need daily cleaning to keep them working efficiently and to maintain health and safety standards.…

Pizza Has All the Major Food Groups

In this very hectic world, meal time can be such a hassle. It seems hard to squeeze in a balanced diet when you have to do so many things throughout the day. As such, people are always on the look out for quick meals that provide all the necessary nutrients in one bite. If this is the case with you, then you need not look further than the yellow pages. The complete meal has long been around that you are probably eating it more often than you notice. Still puzzled as to what this complete food is? It is none other than the pizza.

For many, pizza may just be a snack or junk food, a fattening substance of empty nutritive value. But contrary to this common notion, the pizza can potentially be a healthful meal that can be both filling and nutritious. While it is true that wolfing down six big slices of pizza in one sitting can definitely make one fat, eating it in the right amounts can just be as healthy as eating a serving of salad. What makes pizza so good is that it has all the food groups recommended by nutritionists and doctors for a proper nutrition.

Here is a run down of the types of food that can be found in most pizzas.

Pizza Has Grain

The basis of any pizza is the crust. It is the binder of the whole pie, where all the ingredients are situated. Crust is simply bread, which is usually made of flour. This is a rich source of carbohydrates which the body uses as fuel for its everyday function. The grain food group is also a good source of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for maintaining normal body processes. The pizza crust is also a source fiber, which is very necessary for maintaining the function of the digestive system.

Pizza Has Protein-Rich Foods

Pizza is rich in food products belonging to the meat group. The usual pizza can have pepperoni, Italian sausages, ground beef, ham and other meats. Some pizzas can even have chicken, veal, or lamb. These types of food are rich in protein, iron, and vitamin D, among many other vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are necessary for building muscle and developing tissue. These nutrients are also used for maintaining hair and skin.

Pizza Has Dairy Products

Aside from the crust, a typical feature of any pizza is the cheese. Nothing beats the chewy, oozing goodness of melted mozzarella on top of any pizza. Some pizzas even have other kinds of cheeses like cheddar, feta, and Gouda. Cheese, like other dairy products is rich in calcium and protein. Calcium is a necessary mineral for growing strong bones and teeth. It is also an important element for preventing diseases like osteoporosis.

Pizza Has Fruits

Another typical ingredient of a pizza is the tomato sauce. While most people would think that tomatoes are vegetables, it is basically a fruit. And like many nutritious fruits, tomatoes are rich …

10 Utensils Common In Food Preparation In Africa

There are utensils in food preparation and in cooking that are unique to Africa. Here are a few!

1. Cooking Pot

In modern Africa, many families have switched to using cooking utensils made of metallic, ceramic and other materials, especially when using modern cooking fires such as electric or gas fires. However, the traditional earthenware cooking pot still remains a favourite for many.

The traditional cooking pot is made of clay, and then fired in a kiln. The processes involved in producing a cooking pot and a water pot are different, since a water pot only needs to keep water cool and not withstand the fire.

The traditional cooking pot is often used over an open fire, such as a wood fire, or at a hearth, or over a charcoal burner. The earthy smell of the cooking pot lends a unique flavour to the food. Fresh beans or meat simmered in a pot have quite a different flavour to when cooked in a metallic saucepan.

The insulatory qualities of the clay pot also slow down the cooking process, which further enhances the flavour of the food.

2. Mortar and Pestle

A mortar and pestle used to be standard equipment in many African households, and often still are. A mortar and pestle were used when pounding grain such as millet or sorghum to separate the chaff from the grain.

In western Africa, cooked yam or cocoyam is also pounded into foo-foo. In Uganda, roasted groundnuts are pounded into odii paste, while raw groundnuts are pounded into ebinyewa groundnut powder.

The Africa mortar and pestle are large for heavy duty pounding, differing from their counterpart common in western cooking, which is a small utensil for gently rubbing spices.

3. Mingling Stick

Most African kitchens have a mingling stick, or indeed a whole collection of them. They are made of wood, and come in all sizes and many different shapes. The most common is the wooden mingling stick with a flat head, used to stir food, but more often to mingle posho, ugali or kuon – maize meal or millet meal bread.

Every woman has a favourite mingling stick, which she claims produces the best results!

4. Gourd

In many communities, a gourd is a special and very handy utensil. A gourd is a climbing plant, which produces a long or round fruit. When this fruit matures and dries, it makes a very useful container. A ripe gourd is often brown or golden in colour. The woody inside is then hollowed out and cleaned.

The Kalenjin of western Kenya use their gourds to ferment milk in. And of course, every woman has her own favourite gourd.

When a gourd is cut lengthwise into two, one then has two calabashes, which are very useful for serving drinks. The clean, woody smell of drinking water in a calabash is quite unique. In northern Uganda,visitors were often served homemade beer in calabashes.

Several ethnic communities in Africa also use calabashes as musical instruments, including the Acoli …

Points to Consider When Cooking Meat

Meats should be cooked at a heat that kills the harmful bacteria in it. There are suggested unique cooking temperature readings for each kind of animal protein. There are several points that need to be taken into consideration, when cooking animal products; some of those points are –

Cook it at the right temperature – The science and technology has proposed several means that have comforted the human life. Kitchen, grill, and BBQ thermometers are a great utility that enable one to check the exact temperature of the food, while it is being cooked. Because uncooked or improperly cooked meat steaks may contain various microorganisms, it becomes essential to take them to the suggested summit of heat.

For instance, if you are making roast beef or lamb, make sure you take its temperature to at least 170º F, or 77º C. This is the safest temperature that makes the roast beef or lamb edible. You would need a grill meat thermometer for this stunt. Similarly, for cooking ground beef, chicken, and pork, 165º F temp would be perfect.

There are available special temperature-monitoring devices that can be used in microwave ovens. The probe can be inserted into the meat, before being placed into the microwave. There are also available devices that can give instant reading of heat, at the ending of cooking procedure. Ideal it would be, if you would buy an all-in-one thermapen that can be used for various operations. You just need to insert the probe into the meat, and the read out is instantaneously.

Insert the testing probe into the thickest portion of steak. As a vital step – to make sure that the steak is fit to be eaten and contains no bacteria – you should insert the probe into the thickest part. Another point, when taking this step, ascertain that the needle does not touch the bone. If the probe touches the bone, it could give wrong interpretations.

Keep the probe or device away from the pan in which it is being cooked – If the needle or device would touch the pan, it may interpret incorrect reading. You should insert the probe from that side where it does not touch the sides of the pan.

Reheating – If eating the leftover meat items, you should bring them to at least 165 º F temperatures. Additionally, when the food reaches the suggested cooking heat, you are advised not to remove the probe from it. (Though, you should remove the food from heat.) And allow the food to rest it at that temperature, and eat it only when the temperature has stopped rising.…

Jambalaya Pots – A Resume of Important Tips

The Jambalaya tradition is alive and well and spreading far and wide, well beyond its Cajun origins in Louisiana. If your thinking about getting into Jambalaya cooking there are a few things its good to know.

Jambalaya pots are multi-purpose; they are great for stews, soups, gumbos, popcorn and much more. You can cook nearly all types of food using cast iron cookware so these pots are the supreme example of large scale ‘anything goes’ cooking equipment

Cast iron pots are a great cooking medium with near perfect heat conduction and heat retention they are very efficient, heating evenly & consistently without heat spots.

There is one piece of advice that is paramount, don’t buy cheap. A Jambalaya pot is an investment that your grand children’s children will be enjoying, so buy well. Remember, by comparative standards they are not expensive and when measured over their extended lifetime they are incredibly cheap.

As a simple piece of advice, we have found that the Bayou Classic range of jambalaya pots are superb, they represent the very best in Jambalaya cookware.

Jambalaya pots are ideal for outdoor cooking but they can be a little heavy, especially the larger models. This said the common advice from users is, if you think you’ve chosen the right size then go for the next size up as there surely will come a time when you’ll have need of it. This said do also bear in mind that when going from say, a 7 gallon up to a 10 gallon pot you’re going from being able to serve 60 people, to being able to serve 100.

It’s really healthy to cook with cast iron jambalaya pots because you can cook fat free as a properly seasoned Jambalaya pot will be non-stick so it requires no oil for cooking.

Jambalaya pots are easy to clean:

  1. once the pot is cooled, wash it using normal washing up liquid, then rinse and dry with a paper towel; don’t listen to those that say just wipe it out; this is not hygienic.
  2. after washing put the pot onto the stove/burner to completely dry it out; then before its cooled very lightly oil with a vegetable oil; then leave it on the stove for a few minutes; then take it off the stove and wipe away any excess oil with a paper towel;
  3. after drying your cookware you should never store it with its lid on as this can allow moisture to build up inside, resulting in rust! To help avoid this it can help to put a paper towel inside the pot to absorb any moisture; and
  4. if you do experience rust, scour with steel wool, until the rust is gone, wash and re-season.

Finally here are just a few dos and don’t when cooking with your Jambalaya pots:

  1. Don’t use your pot for boiling water.
  2. Always preheat your pot before starting cooking. The temperature is right when drips of water sizzle then jump around. Its too hot if the water